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New FSM Feature: The Lakers Have Interest in Kyrie Irving

Franchise Sports Media


As the NBA trade deadline approaches, the Lake Show has season-shifting decisions to make, especially with Kyrie Irving demanding a trade.


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The Los Angeles Lakers had already made one move ahead of the Feb. 9 NBA trade deadline when they sent three second-round picks and Kendrick Nunn to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Rui Hachimura.

That move cleared up their logjam at the guard position, and it has also allowed head coach Darvin Ham to deploy taller lineups rather than guard-heavy rotations that are smaller in size.

However, that deal wasn’t exactly the huge splash the Lakers or their fans were hoping for. While it was much needed, Hachimura doesn’t instantly vault them into the championship conversation. Unlike the Los Angeles Lakers’ rich history, the 2022-23 squad has its quirks and it’s led to some disappointment among the fanbase.

Rob Pelinka and the rest of the Lakers’ front office would be foolish not to shop around the market in hopes of making a move that can get the Lake Show back to the postseason.

To everyone’s surprise, Brooklyn Nets All-Star guard Kyrie Irving requested a trade from the team. Irving told the Nets that he preferred to be traded ahead of the NBA Trade Deadline, or he’ll leave in free agency in July.

Irving and the Nets were unable to agree on a contract extension, according to Chris Haynes, a senior NBA Insider for TNT & Bleacher Report.  

In another report, Brooklyn offered Irving an extension recently with “guarantee stipulations,” according to Shams Charania, a senior lead NBA Insider for The Athletic and Stadium, which wasn’t received well by Irving’s camp and was ultimately denied.


The breaking news reopened and introduced a new chapter to the Irving saga. While he hadn’t addressed his preferred destinations, he had a prior interest in heading to Los Angeles to play with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. The news reignites the Russell Westbrook-Irving trade talks, which were discussed heavily last summer.


Photo Credit: Michelle Farsi/New York Times

The Nets will want at least one of the Lakers available first-round picks in 2027 and 2029, or they could ask for both of them. That wouldn’t be outlandish either. The Lakers have been hesitant to trade away their future. Irving would be the most talented player they could acquire at this years trade deadline.

Still, he also has a history of unpredictable behavior, which would make such a deal a huge risk, especially ahead of his impending free agency. 

The issues date back to this past offseason when Irving held out for an extension from the Nets before opting into the final year of his deal with the team. Irving then reportedly was permitted by the Nets to seek sign-and-trade opportunities with other teams, but nothing came of it. Ultimately, Irving opted into the final year of his deal to chase a championship alongside fellow superstar Kevin Durant

The Nets hesitation in giving Irving a flashy long-term deal comes from a variety of factors. Earlier this season, Irving was suspended by the team after sharing antisemitic content on Twitter. Last season he was suspended by the team for failing to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Before that, he mysteriously missed two weeks’ worth of games. Considering Irving’s history of availability issues, it makes sense why the Nets were apprehensive about offering him a max extension.


Irving’s trade request has more than likely lowered any leverage the Nets may have. Teams around the league won’t be willing to give up too much if they know they can get Irving this summer without trading away any valuable assets.


Graphic Credit: Twitter

This is where the Lakers step in. Their first-round picks in 2027 and 2029 alone are the flashiest assets that they can flaunt.

They also have second-round picks in 2023 and 2025, and though they seem unimportant, they could still provide value, especially in the scenario of a three-team deal, which many think should be the most likely outcome for Los Angeles. Despite that, a third team may not necessarily be needed unless Brooklyn wants no part of Westbrook. Which is also a likely scenario.

If you’re Pelinka, Irving is a massive upgrade from Westbrook. Based on how their contracts work, Westbrook is required to be involved in the deal. However, Westbrook’s contract is a bit larger than Irving’s, meaning that Brooklyn would have to include someone else such as Markieff Morris, Seth Curry, Joe Harris, etc.

The Lakers would massively fleece the Nets if that were the case, and so it’s more than likely that Pelinka would have to give up both first-round picks in addition.

If the Lakers are truly in win-now mode, as they should be, they should give up as much as they need to. Lonnie Walker IV, Max Christie, Patrick Beverley, Dennis Schroder, etc. All should be up for consideration.


If Irving ends up as a Laker, it’s obvious that he’d make an impact as soon as he steps on the court. The Lake Show would easily have one of the best trios in NBA history with King James, AD, and Irving. James has already proven that he can succeed with Irving, and with the two reunited, they could turn this season around. 

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– Jake Ideguchi-Furukawa – Franchise Sports Media

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